Friday, May 28, 2010


For a bit of fun i ran the BCU web site's news RSS feed through Wordle which is a java app to create a word cloud from an RSS feed or text source. And here was the result...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The RICE strategy

Recently i have been writing a social media strategy for the university which is currently still in draft. I decided to create a condensed version of the strategy with a snappy acronym. Slightly contrived i admit but easy to remember. So here i present the RICE strategy for social media:

  • Research - before you do a thing examine why you are planning to use social media, see if anyone else is doing something similar, what sort of platforms there are and how applicable they are to your plans, also check what is used in the age-group, sector or geographical areas you wish to engage with.
  • Invest - there is no point making a token gesture in social media, a proper presence requires a proper investment. Social media is an ongoing dialogue with your users so needs investment in time and patience as results may not be immediate or even that easy to quantify.
  • Commit - your organisation needs to buy into social media and integrate it into it's existing marketing and communication functions. Social media is a dialogue not a broadcast like traditional media so you need to be in for the long run to get the best of it.
  • Engage - as social media is a dialogue you need to engage in discussion with your customers. Build a community of your users and customers and this can help drive the development of your social media. 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Social Media Policy

I am trying to write a policy for the University for the usage of social media. The strategy we should have for monitoring, policing and maintaining our social media presence both on sites we can control (such as the official Youtube channel) but also on sites that may be out of our control. I am going to be putting some useful resources i have found here in this post, for reference and also to play around with. Any feedback gratefully received.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

So what is Twitter?

Twitter has suddenly exploded onto the mainstream, why this very morning on a BBC News report from a BBC road show we were told we could follow what was happening on Twitter and Facebook. But what actually is Twitter? Well its micro-blogging et cetera but what does that really mean to the average idiot user? Like me.

To me Twitter, and micro-blogging in general, is what blogging itself started out as. A personal diary, a fast moving record of what was happening. Blogging has evolved though and has become a serious player in citizen journalism. The old lazy stereotype about a blog being a self-obsessed diary of boring details of someone else's life has gone (though some still persist with this accusation, though i doubt they have actually ever read anything like New Wars or John Hawks - two recent finds).

So as blogging has become "serious" then micro-blogging has stepped in and become the place for a fast moving stream of consciousness and things-to-check-out. If i look at my Twitter friends for example (using TwitBin of course, highly recommended for Firefox users) i can read Paul Bradshaw's comments on his Radio WM interview about... er... Twitter, find out the Prime Minister is holding a press conference after meeting the IMF (and wonder if any cheques were handed over), read a link about Starbucks instant coffee and find out one of my friends is finally watching Donnie Darko.

All short and to the point messages. Micro-blogging like blogging itself is evolving of course and the rate of evolution will increase now its hit the big time and it will be very interesting to monitor this. Especially the tension between old-skool tweets about what colour underpants people are wearing and more serious matters. So this is what Twitter means to me, finally. It took some time for me to work it out. But what does Twitter mean to you? Why not leave a comment below?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Using a wiki for a job progress system

Because of the increasing complexity to the on-line presence of the university and the multiple projects that are on-going we have been looking at how best to keep track of jobs and have useful information in a centralised location easily accessible to everyone. We already had a wiki running, powered by Mediawiki, kindly set up for us by ICT but as yet little real use for it. So we are trailing running our Job Progress System on the wiki.

Every job will be assigned a job number and relevant and update information kept on the job as it "travels" through the system. Once the job is completed it will then be archived allowing us to build up a database of completed work for accountability, statistical and historical purposes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Sports Centre takes shape

The new Sports Centre, a £7 million complex now being built on the former Ansells Sports Club site next to City North Campus, takes shape. I took this picture at the weekend on a lovely bright and crisp morning. The rabbits running around in between the various piles of construction equipment and materials. Almost poetic.

Full size version here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

View Ancient Rome in Google Earth

You can now view Ancient Rome using Google Earth, or rather a virtual representation. 320CE was a little early for photography, satellites and banks of servers. This, however, makes me think that it would be rather cool to be able to view an area as it changed over time. Of course the amount of imagery you would require would be vast.

Maybe one could have another slider to adjust the area's appearance over time. One could see how a site (such as the university) had changed over time. Such as from this...

To this...

...and to this.